Album Review: Young English - 'I Hate My Friends EP'

29 December 2011 | 9:46 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Strong release with room to grow.

Young English have managed to combine the sounds of pop-punk, alternative rock and hardcore (some of the guitars sound hardcore-ish at times) extremely well on their new EP, ‘I Hate My Friends.’ The conundrum this causes is a love/hate response from the listener, love because the songs are well written, catchy enough to play a few times over in your head and very well recorded but hate because the ideas that have been taken from the three aforementioned genres have been blatantly copied with no original tweaks made, which in turn makes the songs a little bland.

That being said, alternative rock bands could do far worse than the tracks found on this record. The opening track Neighbors, is the clear standout and obvious choice for an opener. It is energetic and catchy, heading a little more down the pop-punk path than anywhere else, but with enough dirty vocals to keep things a little gritty. Vocalist Chris Pennings’ voice is the typical, high pitched, pop-punk usual, which although good, is probably one of the main reasons why this music seems a little stock standard.

Next up we have Anchors, a song which shows off some talented guitar work whilst maintaining the level of energy set by the opening track. There is however no difference sonically between these two, or any these songs for that matter, meaning if you’re not paying attention, you may not notice the tracks clicking over.

The other EP standout is the song New England, which features the record’s most interesting guitar parts in its bridge section, whilst Pennings’ sings a love song about his hometown. The EP closer, I Knew You Once, is the most aggressive song on the record and possibly the most original sounding, perhaps it was made the last track as it is a sign of where Young English are (hopefully) heading.

Young English are a talented band who would be even more impressive if they could refine and explore the more original sounding points of their music. ‘I Hate My Friends’ is a tight EP that will do its job by catching people’s ears, but it is what the band do with their follow up full length that will be the make or break.

1. Neighbors

2. Anchors

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3. New England

4. I Knew You Once